Complaints Policy and Procedures
Reviewed: September 2017 - V4.0
1. Title: Complaint Policy and Procedures
2. Purpose: This document outlines the Policy and Procedures for handling all complaints brought to the attention of ECBC and applies to all services provided at the college.
3. Application: The policy applies to all students at East End Computing and Business College (ECBC)
4. Review and Amendment:
- This policy shall be reviewed yearly by Quality & Academic Standards Committee
- The next review will be in September 2018
This policy commenced from September 2014 and replaced any previous similar policy
First Draft - Approved by Management and Adopted
Reviewed in QASC - Cover page and history section is added, modify some of the content.
1.0 Policy Statement
East End Computing & Business College (ECBC) is committed to providing all its learners and prospective students a fair opportunity to register a complaint related to any service offered at ECBC or against misconduct of a member of staff.
Complaints are effective ways of receiving feedback from our students and provide the college an opportunity to take corrective actions to improve the overall student experience. The main aim of the policy is to engage with students in a constructive way and to seek to resolve any issues concerning the students about their learning experience at ECBC. Students at ECBC should be made aware of their rights to make a complaint to achieve a high level of satisfaction.
Using the best judgment of staff on college policy and UK regulatory expectations, the college may decide to redefine an initial complaint as an academic appeal, or an initial academic appeal as a complaint, or may choose to allocate an issue relevant to both themes to just one procedure.
In this area, the college will follow the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, especially Chapter B9: Academic Appeals and Student Complaints, and its successor and complementary documents.
The policy applies to : current students, including those on placement or engaged in work-based learning, or on an approved leave of absence; or past students who had recently left or suspended their study programme, the opportunity to raise issues in a reasonable way within three years of the end of their studies. This policy also deals with the matters related to the admissions.
3.0 Complaint Approach
The college recognises the importance of complaints made by students about the services offered at ECBC in improving the overall learning experiences at ECBC.
3.1 Informal approach
Students can make a complaint which could be formal or informal.
Informal complaints are of non-serious nature such as minor dissatisfaction with the services received or mis-conduct by a member of staff with no serious consequences.
Students are encouraged to make complaints about such issues directly with the member of staff involved or with the line manager of the member of staff.
No form needs to be filled in at this stage. If the student receives a satisfactory response no further action will be taken.
A student should normally be informed about the outcome of the informal complaint within five working days of raising the complaint. The student can be informed either verbally or in writing.
However, if the informal procedure fails to provide satisfactory outcome and the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome, the formal procedures may be initiated.
3.2 Formal Approach
The college appreciates that there may be occasions where the above informal process is inappropriate and that a more formal approach is necessary. Where it has not been possible to resolve the complaint to student's satisfaction at stage 1, he/she should submit his/her complaint to the registrar.
In normal circumstances the college will consider the complaints that are made within 28 days of the events complained about. However, students can make a complaint after 28 days if they provide a good reason for delay.
4.0 Grounds for making a complaint
The following are the valid ground for making a complaint:
- complaints concerning student experience related to an academic department, Administrative or Support Service or about the information provided by the college
- Inappropriate action or conduct of a member of staff
- Inappropriate action or behaviour of other students
- The quality of services offered at ECBC
- Procedural error in dealing with the application
- Complaint against Admission Malpractice
The complaint will be investigated by the registrar. The registrar may arrive at a decision by consulting the admissions officer and student welfare officer.
5.0 Procedure to make a formal complaint
A formal complaint can be made by completing a Complaints Form obtainable at the reception (Appendix A of this document) and submit to the registrar at the college or by email to email@example.com with student ID and "Complaint Notification" in the subject line.
Before submitting the complaint form, the student should ensure that the grounds of the complaints have been met and the informal approach to resolve the matter has been used.
6.0 Consideration of a complaint
All the complaints are dealt with by the registrar. The registrar however seeks consultation with admissions officer, Programme Manager or the principal depending on the nature of the complaint. However, if the complaint is about the registrar himself/herself or the registry, the complaints will directly be dealt with by the director.
The registrar after making an initial assessment of the complaint may consult relevant departments to collect sufficient evidence. This process will take no more than 5 working days from receiving the complaint.
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome from the registrar, the student may refer the complaint to the principal within 2 working days.
The principal will set up a Resolution Panel and invite the student to make a representation. The student will be allowed to bring with him a fellow student at the meeting.
At any point in this procedure, where a physical meeting is not feasible, a telephone call or online meeting may be considered as a substitute.
Under this procedure, the college will not hire a legal service or legal qualified person to represent it at internal meetings with students, and similarly we expect that students will not hire a legal service for the meeting.
The Resolution Panel investigating the complaint is expected to arrive at a decision within 10 working days of the hearing day. The college may seek specialist advice on any matter raised within the operation of this policy.
The following outcomes are possible:
- matters covered under the appeals procedures
- complaints about students own failure to make progress on his / her programme
- complaints involving an allegation of misconduct by another student
- Claims for financial compensation
The student will be informed of the decision of the panel within 2 working days.
7.0 Notification of the outcome
The student should be informed in writing of the decision by the registrar with 2 working days of the decision of the resolution panel. The decision should be communicated in writing to the student. In the case the Resolution Panel dismissed the complaint, the Principal should provide details to the student the reasons for such a decision. However, if the panel agreed with the student regarding the complaint, the principal will take necessary steps to resolve the complaint as soon as possible.
In both cases, a "Completion of Procedure" letter will be issued to the student within 2 working days.
If at this point the student is still unhappy about the outcome then he/she can refer the case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
8.0 Cost of lodging a complaint
Any costs incurred by a student in raising an issue under this procedure are to be borne by the student.
9.0 Raising complaint with awarding body
In broad terms, and respecting the regulations of any awarding body, the college expects students to exhaust college procedures for raising and solving issues before taking any issue to an external body. Under this internal procedure, if a student takes the case to a court of law or to a professional body while the internal procedure is still active or before the internal procedure has been initiated, then the internal procedure will be suspended for the duration of external body's involvement. This provision for "suspension of procedure" will not apply in the case of an awarding body's involvement.
10.0 Evaluation of student complaints
At a strategic level, the college will use the number and nature of issues raised under this procedure in order to assure standards, and maintain and enhance the quality of student learning opportunities. The Quality and Academic Standards Committee and the Academic Board of the college will consider the profile of issues raised. The college will also ensure that actions and recommendations resulting from cases are carried out, and monitored until completion.Enquiry: